Hot Picks
If you really want to know what's good on the menu, who do you ask? The chef, of course (or seven courses if you really want to splurge).

Our program creators are in the kitchen cooking up the wide selection of music we serve daily (we even make them wear those big funny hats). But they like to step out from behind the grill once in a while to tell you about some of their latest, very personal favorites found among the ton of fresh music we get each day.

Some of these are discoveries you won't hear on ordinary radio. This is music so good you can taste it! ... Bon appetit pour la musique! (That's something they taught us to say in culinary school.)



Mark Shands
Creator
THE DOCUMENTARY, The Game (Aftermath/G Unit/Interscope)
The Game (or Game) is twenty-four year old Jaceon Taylor, the fifth member of 50 Cent's group, G-Unit. He's a former Blood from Compton, the birthplace of gangsta rap. That's where Dr. Dre found him after hearing Game perform on a mixtape. You can hear Dre's presence all over this album and it is quite excellent! I'm talkin' a new, different Westside story! Game is impressive and real; there is talk that he just may be the next big name to break out of the West Coast rap scene. There are great appearances by 50 Cent, Faith Evans, Eminem, Mary J., Busta Rhymes and Nate Dogg. Present as producers are Kanye West, Just Blaze and Timbaland. It's Game Time and the west is back!


Jeanne Destro
Creator
CLOSER, David Sanborn (Verve)
At sixty, David Sanborn has been around long enough to earn the title of contemporary jazz elder statesman, but his new CD, Closer, sounds just as fresh and original as anything he may have done in his younger years. This is one of the alto saxophonistís best efforts, and I recommend it highly. A bit of a departure for Sanborn, this new CD is mostly arranged in an Afro-Cuban style, with some outstanding Latin jazz cuts, including "Tin Tin Deo", "Enchantment", and "Poinciana". The only non-instrumental track on the disc features outstanding young jazz vocalist Lizz Wright in a very smooth and soulful cover of James Taylorís "Don't Let Me Be Lonely Tonight". Her debut solo CD, Salt was one of my Hot Picks last year.


David Sader
Director of Music Entertainment
HANG ON LITTLE TOMATO, Pink Martini (Heinz Records)
If I had only one band to listen to for the rest of my life, the twelve piece "little orchestra", Pink Martini, might be my choice. Featuring both original compositions and creative spins on classics, the quality of this music shines through. The track "Letís Never Stop Falling in Love" serves as a dramatic first act showcasing China Forbesís sultry, engaging voice. The songs are in Spanish, Japanese, Croatian, French, Italian, and English. Founder and pianist Thomas Lauderdale calls this "an urban musical travelogue." The band has a growing fan base all over the world. Owners of the debut CD, Sympathique, probably already have Hang On Little Tomato (title based on a 1964 Hunt's ketchup ad) in their collection, but if the band is new to you, just go buy both discs.



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